Student Embarrassed By Accidental Shooting, Promises to Sell Guns

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Matthew Williamson said he plans to sell his guns after he was accidentally shot by a handgun he had in his backpack.

Williamson, 37, was showing the Taurus .45-caliber revolver to a co-worker at the KUAF radio station on the University of Arkansas campus at approximately 12:40 p.m. Friday. The gun fired and blew a .410 shotgun round through his left hand, damaging his left index finger and doing severe damage to the meaty part of his hand between his thumb and pointer and index fingers.

Williamson said he would find out Sunday if he gets to keep his index finger.

Williamson said he didn’t touch the gun and did nothing to jar the handgun into firing. He said he has since done research that he said showed the revolver was prone to accidental firings.

“It’s embarrassing,” Williamson said. “People think I did something wrong. That’s what I’d think. It was just a fluke accident. I still can’t believe it happened.”

Williamson may face a charge of having a gun on school property, which is a Class D felony, and could face sanctions from the university. He said he didn’t realize the radio station – where he answered phones as part of a work-study program – was a part of the university’s campus or he would not have brought the gun.

He said he brought the gun because he had planned to take the revolver to a gun range after work to shoot it for the first time. He said he was a hurry that morning and didn’t check the gun thoroughly for a round before tossing it into his bag.

“I still only shot it that once,” Williamson said, managing a chuckle.

Williamson said he owns several guns but will sell them now, and was able to joke that he would need the money to pay for his medical bills. He said his accident shows that guns shouldn’t be allowed on campus.

“I’m pretty despondent about the whole thing,” Williamson said. “It was an accident, and I’m sorry. If I had know the radio station was campus, that wouldn’t have happened.”